The exercise featured this March is the bent-over row. The bent-over row is an exercise that helps strengthen muscles we use every day! The primary mover (muscle used) in a bent-over row is the latissimus dorsi (aka: LATS) (large back muscles). The LATS serve to strengthen your spine and neck which improves posture, increases core strength for improved functional movement, and having strong LATS helps reduce the risk of injury to your neck, shoulders, arms and low back. There are many other muscles used in conjunction with the LATS during a bent-over row. So, as we focus on the back, we are truly multi-tasking during this exercise and many muscles reap the benefits.
Preparation for exercise (this month we will need a bench and a free-weight to preform our exercise)
Movement of exercise:
Start with your left hand and left knee-to-foot on the bench, torso length apart (flatten your back). Your right foot should be on the floor hip width away from where your left leg is on the bench and positioned between your left knee and foot, make sure your hips are level, and you’re looking down to keep your entire spine in a straight line, this may require you to bend your right knee slightly. Keep your navel drawn in throughout the entire exercise.
Hold the weight in your right hand and extend your arm toward the floor so there is only a slight bend in your elbow.
Exhale as you bend your elbow pulling the free-weight toward your rib-cage. Keep your shoulders down (don’t let them crunch up toward your neck and head). Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if to crack a nut between them. Feel the squeeze about half way down your back. The upward movement should take the count of 4 (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand…)
Hold and squeeze at the top for the count of 2.
Inhale as you lower your free-weight back down to the starting position for the count of 1.
Repeat for 10-12 reps.
Note: Need progressions or regressions? Reach out to me for help!
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Check back next month for more bits & tips on exercise and fitness!